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Old February 12th, 2013, 11:48 AM
RPT Newbie
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Default Transplant advice for a large Canary Palm

Great community here. Thanks for your generous knowledge sharing.

I've been offered a large Canary Island Date Palm free if I can transplant it. The tree is 13' brown trunk height (11' to the first uncut fronds). It's probably a #2 rated tree with a slight curve, but it is nevertheless beautiful. I've been coveting a large CIDP like this for our 2 acre Northern California property, and I'm going to do everything I can to get it and keep it healthy. I can't afford the $4,000-8,000 quotes I'm getting for professionally moving the thing, and I'm pretty handy, so I'm going to do it myself with a couple of buddies and hire a guy with heavy-duty crane truck and flatbed trailer. I think we can do it for less than $2,000.

I've got questions for the experts among you:

How much will this tree weigh? (13' trunk, good moist ground)

How large a root ball should we take? Round or square?

How do we know how deep to dig the root ball? How do we dig under the root ball? Should the crane simply tear the bottom roots up with a few feet dug?

We will tie up the top fronds. How long should they be left tied? In one place, I've read to leave them tied up for 30 days. Why?

I've seen varying recommendations on sand in the new hole. Sand, or not? How much?

Where do you get your fertilizer, and which do you recommend?

I've watched every video and read everything I could find about this process. I hope I can keep this beautiful tree alive, and can't wait to have it on our property. I don't think you "own" a thing like this; for better or worse, I feel like I'll be a steward.

Here's the tree and my lovely wife (who is 6' tall):

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 25th, 2016, 11:17 AM
RPT Newbie
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 6
Default Transplant Advice for Large Canary Palms

Canary palm (Phoenix canariensis), also known as Canary Island date palm, is a large member of the grass family native to the Canary Islands and hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.

Transplant at the beginning of the warm season, as this will help palms reestablish the fastest. Avoid transplanting palms in fall and winter in areas where these months are significantly cooler, as this will stress the plant, making it difficult for it to get established and predisposing it to disease. Water the soil around the palm deeply several days before you plan to dig it up.
Leave the palm’s canopy intact. Avoid removing any of the canopy if the leaves look healthy. Remove them later if they die.
Tie up the leaves, including the canopy, with twine to keep them from harm and protect the crown. Splint the palm all the way up its length using a length of lumber or a strong pole to keep it from snapping off during transplant.
Dig up the palm using a shovel. Leave a root ball extending at least 8 inches from the base of the trunk in all directions for palms up to 16 feet. Leave a root ball of at least 16 inches in all directions for larger palms.

Wrap the root ball in burlap as you transport it to its new home using a cart, dolly or muscle power.

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide, and lower the palm into it without the burlap. Fill with regular soil and do not amend.
Irrigate the area several times over with large amounts of water to settle the earth and rehydrate the palm. You may have to add more soil as the earth settles around the root ball. Remove the brace and the twine around the canopy.

Attach the short lengths of lumber to the tree about halfway up its height, modifying their length with a saw if necessary, and secure with twine. Nail long pieces of lumber at roughly a 45-degree angle to these supports, again modifying their length if necessary. The other end of the lumber pieces should heel into the soil, making a tepee-shaped support structure. Leave the support lumber in place for about a year.
Things You Will Need
Lumber or pole as long as the palm, including canopy
3 to 5 short lengths of lumber such as 2x4
3 to 5 lengths of lumber, long enough to brace palm trunk halfway up at a 45-degree angle
Saw (optional)

Unlike some palms, whose roots may be damaged if transplanted when they are too young, it is probably safe to transplant juvenile canary palms, as well as adults. Happy Gardening Yall!
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